Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Fallability of Mormons

I'll be honest. This man confuses me. His recent reaction to Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and Steven Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" has me alternately raising my eyebrows and narrowing my eyes.

If you aren't familiar with the planned gatherings on October 30th, watch the following videos. They're gems, in my opinion.

Watch Jon Stewart's Announcement here.
Watch Steven Colbert's Response here.

First of all, let's just clarify: Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert are comedians. Not politicians. Okay. Just gotta make sure we're all on the same page here.

But Glenn Beck feathers seem ruffled nonetheless.

Here's a brief radio clip of Glenn Beck's thoughts and reaction to the October 30th gatherings (among other things):

Hey Glenn.
I dabbled in witchcraft in high school. (Well, more like middle school.) Still, it seems absurd to judge potential leaders by what they did in high school. There's a bit of a leap between "I dabbled in witchcraft in high school" and "I am a witch." That's like saying "Twenty years ago, I set off illegal fireworks with some friends after a football game" equals "I am an arsonist." I'd prefer to judge my future leaders by their current and at least more recent policies and positions. If we look into adults' high school records to form conclusions about them now, Hitler is a painter, Einstein is an academic failure, and General Patton is illiterate.

That strikes me as fallacious. Somehow. I don't know. Maybe it's just me.

On this program, Beck also said "Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert will go and activate the youth to try to get the youth to go out and vote.”

Um. Is that a bad thing?

The confusing thing is that Brother Beck says a lot of things that I do agree with. Just read any of my past blog entries about voting. I do agree that we should find someone with principles we agree with. I do agree that we should get out and vote. But in the same breath, the man is berating youth gathering to get out and think and vote.

I suppose I'm stepping on dangerous ground, speaking out against Glenn Beck as a faithful Mormon on a CES campus in the red red state of Idaho. But I don't believe being "politically correct" means being silent. I believe it means talking respectfully. So I'm talking. And I hope my readers aren't offended by my opinions. If you are, I apologize, but like to think of my readers being mature enough to not be offended if they happen to disagree with me.


Jules said...

They're going to "activate the youth to try to get them to vote with the labor unions?" Huh, Glenn? I really don't recall hearing them say that.

Now is the time to FREAK OUT FOR FREEDOM.

I think that conveys my feelings.

Kara said...

once again you articulate my inner thoughts quite well. (why am I not good with words like you!?)

I'm jealous.

Beckah said...

Curse you and your reasonableness!

I love Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. And even though I do get most of my news information from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I know perfectly well that they are comedians, and not politicians. Not even straight-up journalists.

I'm going to refrain from saying anything about Glenn Beck. Which probably says more than I'm willing to about what I think of him.

Ok. I'm done. I'm distracted by the cookies I'm about to make.

France is said...

Liz whittaker for president.

Carrie Lynn said...

I think someone should inform Glenn Beck that just as John Stewart and Stephan Colbert are NOT politicians, neither is he.

The world would be a better place if entertainers could admit that they're just entertaining.

And I keep most of my opinions about Glenn Beck to myself because he hosted a demolition derby here once and everyone LIKED it.

One more thing: Remind me to tell you Stephen Smith's biggest fear of all time.

JenLee said...

Don't worry about offending me. You articulated your thoughts well. Also, Glenn Beck's a nut. There's nothing more to it. And I don't say that about very many people (mostly because calling someone a "nut" is so 50 years ago, but still).

Anonymous said...

I didn't listen to the whole video/speech, just because I am literally not capable of listening for an extended time to this kind of radio, but I did have to smile at the statement, "I've never met a good Marxist." Hello?! Harpo? Groucho?


Love you much!


A said...

Here's an opposing viewpoint:

Though I'm not Glenn Beck's biggest fan (but I don't think he's crazy or horrible or stupid, like some), I feel like this clip might be taken out of context. I played it to my mom, who has listened to his show and regularly listens to another conservative talk show host who is not as inflammatory. The whole thing with O'Donnell is that the media and her opponents are painting her as a witch to discourage conservative religious voters. So it could easily be that he's saying "witch" somewhat facetiously. After all, he then asks, is she a good witch or a bad witch--perhaps implying that she could be a good person with good values even though she might have dabbled in witchcraft as a teen. As for activaing the youth--he said activating them to vote a certain way, and that he doesn't like. It's not the activating part it's the liberal influence. Which is why these two comments are sandwiched between a call to (1) go out and vote and (2) vote for someone whose principles you believe in.

I reacted somewhat similarly to you and brought it up with my mom. One of the things she asked me was, have you ever listened to his show all the way through? And I realized, no, I haven't. I've only seen bits and pieces, and maybe that isn't the best way to judge him as a whole. When she listened to this it made perfect sense to her b/c other talk show hosts have expressed the same frustration with O'Donnell being labeled as a witch. I made the argument that the language in this clip was insufficient to convince me he wasn't labeling her, and she made the argument that it's been taken out of context--so much so that someone could think he's saying, "stay away from her she a witch," when he's probably saying exactly the opposite: it's her current values that count.

Liz-a-nator said...

Thank you, Allison! While I love being validated, I also love a good critical discussion. The idea of "taking things out of context" has occurred to me too, and I'm pretty sure it happens all the time, and that this clip was not an exception. I think I was (am) being unfair to Beck, but from an LDS standpoint, I'm playing devil's advocate, too. Even though I do agree with him on the idea of finding someone whose principles I agree with. Those people just usually have different principles from Glenn Beck's (which is odd and I can't figure out if one of us is at fault, and if so, which one), and feel victimized when I'm following his advice, but not his principles.

Perhaps we need to draw the line more firmly between entertainers, philosophers, and politicians. In our "media age," the lines are increasingly blurring, and they've been blurry since Ancient Rome. I'm hypothesizing that by solidifying the separation of entertainers, philosophers, and politicians, and understanding their differing roles better, the government leaders we vote into office would be better qualified for the job.